The next morning, the vet called us and said she did have a bladder infection and would need antibiotics for 6 weeks (liquid, thankfully) to make sure it hadn't spread to her kidneys. Her bloodwork showed that she was ready to start getting fluids for her CRF. She's 15 years old, so this wasn't a surprise. We'd been monitoring her kidneys for about a year, but she hadn't been recieving any treatment yet. We went in to pick her up on the way to drop me off at the train station. When the tech brought her out, she was a completely different animal. She was snarling and hissing and generally being much angrier than I've ever seen her. She bit the tech and splattered her blood on her carrier. She tried to attack Bryan through the carrier when we put her in the car. Then she was completely silent on the way to drop me off. Normally she yowls like a typical Siamese on car trips. When Bryan got her home, she went straight to her bowl and perodically growled while eating. My thing in the City didn't have the most exciting possible outcome (I knew it'd be a big stretch), but it did work out in an arrangement that'll be really good for me.
The cat's starting to act a little more normal, and I just gave her her first sub q fluid treatment! I'm so happy at how it went. I knew I wouldn't have any problem doing it, but I wasn't sure how she'd react. I guess my animal
torture research skills finally came in handy. (Me? Bitter? Never!) Right now she's supposed to get 200mL twice a week. I thought that sounded like a lot for one sitting compared to other people's experiences on the web, but it went really fast with the 18 gauge needles. I was assuming I'd end up needing to order some 20 gauge Terumos like everyone else, but she didn't seem to mind too much. She growled most of the time, but it wasn't an aggressive growl and she didn't try too hard to get away. I'll probably heat up the Ringer's a little more next time. Overall, I think it pissed her off less than getting pills. She hates the liquid antibiotics too, and starts drooling & foaming after she gets them. Now she's hiding in the bedroom with a huge lump of fluid under her skin. If it falls down her leg, I'll take a picture. My husband's so grossed out by that possibility!
We're going back to the vet for a recheck Monday. I haven't actually gotten a copy of her results from last weekend yet. When I see the numbers, I'll have a better idea of how serious things are. I don't think it's too bad since she hasn't been acting sick (except for the bladder thing), and sometimes even cats with really bad numbers can be stable for years on fluids and meds. It sucks that she needs treatment now, but I'm glad I've started doing everything I can to help her before it makes her feel bad. Often people have no idea anything's wrong before the cat "crashes". My cat's been getting geriatric bloodwork for years, but nothing really turned up until her pre-anasthesia bloodwork the day of her tooth cleaning last year.
I'll probably do a more technical post on fluid administration soon for anybody Googling for tips, so just bear with me. :)